Fishing & Boating News

Tricked-Out Tungsten

 Custom Jigs & Spins ice fishing pros offer technical jig tips

by: Cory Schmidt,

Photo by courtesy of Custom Jigs & Spins
Six new multi-color Majmün Tungsten Jigs
Photo by courtesy of Custom Jigs & Spins
(Nov 2, 2016 - Coralville, IA) Tungsten jigs activate soft ice plastics like a fat bat on a fastball, a spring on a trap, a hammer on a bullet. Even while the hype over ‘rates of fall’ and ‘sinking fast to active fish’ permeates conventional conversations around holes in the ice, the truth is, heavy-for-its-size tungsten serves another, equally effective function.
 
It’s the reason some of North America’s finest hardwater anglers choose to match tungsten to plastic, even in shallow water. “Tungsten’s significant weight-to-size ratio means that relative to lead, a jig like a Custom Jigs & Spins Majmün moves and responds much more quickly underwater,” says ice pro Walt Matan, “like the difference between a speed bag and a punching bag.”
 
 
The weight of tungsten, Matan and other anglers believe, animates the tiny tails and appendages of micro soft plastics, with a noticeable jump in what he calls, nervous energy.
 
“Line weight and jig stroke being equal, a Majmün Tungsten Jig will energize the same Finesse Plastic or other softbait tail much more radically than a lead jig,” Matan offers. “It’s the reason many of the top anglers on the North American Ice Fishing Circuit (NAIFC) keep Majmüns rigged for most of their fishing.”

 
Matan’s activation advantage has inspired further ice jig mods, including a soft plastics tweak known as ‘3D jigging.’ Borrowing from the bass world, Matan builds a sweet little ice bug, first sliding one or two sets of Nuclear Ant Legs (a spiderlike microplastic) onto the jig shank for a collar-effect. He then threads a Wedgee, Finesse Plastic or live larvae onto the jig. The result is a morsel that moves on multiple planes—fine legs quivering in one direction and sliver-thin tail shaking and undulating in another.
 
“The wispiness of the material,” he offers, “assures that even when deadsticked in suspended animation, 3D jigs continue working for you, little appendages quivering and breathing with the slightest underwater current.”
 
 
Shawn Bjonfald, a topnotch angler on the NAIFC trail, interjects additional tungsten intelligence: “Most of the best anglers I know thread their softbaits onto the hook, like a bass grub, rather than nipping them through the head. Shows fish a much more streamlined, natural presentation, and with a dot of superglue on the jig collar, your durability factor skyrockets.”
 
In the ‘super secret-agent’ category, Bjonfald divulges perhaps the ultimate jig-and-plastic nugget. “When fishing an ultra-thin softbait, such as a Wedgee or Micro Noodel, we like to use ice fishing’s version of a Texas rig. It’s a killer move for not only presenting tiny softbaits naturally, but also working cleanly through vegetation, wood or fish cribs. Thread the bait onto the jighook, maybe one-eighth of an inch, turn the hook and reinsert it another quarter-inch or so toward the tail. Push the hook-point all the way through, exposing only the point—as opposed to hiding it in the plastic. You get a perfectly straight presentation that stays on the hook, pins fish, and yet won’t tear the material.”

A progressive ice jig style, the Majmün Tungsten Jig is increasingly turning up in hushed discussions over tournament-winning tackle. Pronounced “my-moon,” Custom Jigs & Spins’ leading edge ice jig now shows off six exclusive multi-colors, including Lemon Lime, Plum Glow and Fire Tiger. Accentuating its classic ballhead shape is a high-tech Owner® jig hook, positioned to maximize gap and hooking power. Input from Custom Jigs & Spins pros generated a 45-degree eyelet angle, giving the jighead a slightly “hook-down” position—another hookset assist.
 
Tungsten shines for far more than sinking fast to 30 feet—that’s old news. The tournament guys tie it on because it brings mad action to all soft plastics . . . and wins at the weigh-in.
 
 
 
ABOUT
Custom Jigs & Spins started almost 30 years ago producing high quality ice fishing lures. We continue today by improving our existing lures and developing new ones with input from our Pro-Staff and suggestions from serious ice anglers. We're extremely proud that some of our newest lures, as well as many of our tried and true favorites like the Ratso, Shrimpo, Nuclear Ant and Rat Finkee, have crossed over into the open water market.
 
We at Custom Jigs & Spins, Inc. use only the highest quality raw materials including Owner and Mustad hooks. Most all of our lures are hand painted with a super hard finish and paint free eyes.”
Majmün Tungsten Jigs dressed with Wedgee Plastics
Photo by courtesy of Custom Jigs & Spins
Majmün Tungsten Jigs dressed with Wedgee Plastics
Photo by courtesy of Custom Jigs & Spins